The Twelves at Cargo

It’s gone 2.30am, Sunday, May 23. The sound has gone off for the second time during the set and the lights are on. But the crowd at Shoreditch’s Cargo doesn’t go anywhere.

Brazilian production duo The Twelves have been playing for about one hour and a half, to the delight of fans and neophytes. Those who learned to like them after their dazzling 60-tune, 120-minute Essential Mix set on BBC Radio 1 last year were not disappointed. The structure was there: Fever Ray’s “Seven”, Phoenix’s “Fences”, Metric’s “Help I’m Alive”, Laid Back’s “White Horse”, Metronomy’s “Radio Ladio”… They also kept their take on Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby” if there was anyone eager for big hits. And they didn’t forget their signature remix of M.I.A.’s “Boyz” to please their early followers.

Adding to the BBC performance, João Miguel and Luciano brought to the dancefloor the various faces of an amorphous but coherent unity. The choice of Britney Spears (“Gimme More”) and homage to their ultimate icons Daft Punk (“We are the Robots”) were some of those sides. They concede being flattered by the comparisons with Daft Punk, but music aside, it’s tough to find similarities between their stage presences. The Twelves’ performance is stripped down to the core of their music. As opposed to the French electronic duo’s grand concerts – there are no masks, costumes or mis-en-scene amid the Brazilians’ gig. It’s the two, their tunes and the synchronised movement of their feet under the table as their beats hit people’s hearts and minds.

Another “divergence” is their confessed preference for the club vibe and the smaller venues, with which many would certainly disagree. Being from Rio, there’s no need for digging up to find sunny, outdoor influences in the melodies they pick. If you make people dance to Radiohead’s “Reckoner”, it’s not hard to envisage playing at sunset on Ipanema Beach.

By Bernardo Pires Domingues

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